President forecasts 2 million tourist arrivals for this year

Tourists at Velana International Airport on August 11, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has forecasted that the Maldives’ can bring in two million tourist arrivals this year, which would mark the first time in the history of Maldives since the inception of its tourism industry.

He made the remark while delivering his first presidential address at the opening sitting of the last session of the ongoing 19th parliament on Monday morning.

In his address, President Muizzu spoke on various topics of importance.

Despite the various financial constraints Maldives is presently facing, President Muizzu said he sees a bright future ahead for the island nation.

On this note, he underscored that the arrival of two million tourists is expected this year which would be a significant boost to the Maldivian economy. He further said the expansion of Velana International Airport (VIA) would increase tourist arrivals by 10.3 percent on average, in the medium term.

“It is estimated that two million tourists will visit the Maldives this year, for the first time ever,” he had said.

President Muizzu said his administration’s goal for the tourism sector this year is to open 20 new resorts, which will create 2,827 beds. Moreover, the government will provide assistance to complete the development of unfinished resorts, he added.

The president also said his administration has commenced efforts to identify the obstructions to the development of islands, land plots and lagoons leased for tourism development that has been halted over various reasons and explore possible solutions.

In this trajectory, he said the Tourism Ministry, in collaboration with Finance Ministry and Economic Ministry are working on formulating a policy to complete the 63 tourism development projects, and introduce them to the market.

“This work will be completed within the upcoming week or so,” he added.

Maldives recorded the arrival of 1.8 million tourists last year.

As per statistics released by the Tourism Ministry, Maldives has recorded the arrivals of 174,400 tourists as of January 29th – a 12 percent increase compared to the same period last year which saw the arrivals of 155,851 tourist arrivals.